Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Altered Atlantic winds may hamper hurricanes

19.04.2007
In response to global warming, an atmospheric effect called wind shear may strengthen in the tropical Atlantic during this century and inhibit hurricane development and intensification there. So say researchers who have recently peered into the region's potential climate future using a large set of state- of-the-art global climate models.

Increased vertical wind shear--a tearing action which can pull a storm apart and is caused by differences in wind speed or direction with altitude--historically has been associated with reduced hurricane activity and intensity. While other studies have linked global warming to greater hurricane intensity, this study is the first to identify changes in wind shear that could counteract that effect, the scientists say.

"Wind shear is one of the dominant controls to hurricane activity, and the models project substantial increases in the Atlantic," says oceanographer Gabriel A. Vecchi of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Princeton, New Jersey.

Using 18 different models, he and Brian J. Soden of the University of Miami, Florida, assessed changes in environmental factors linked to hurricane formation and intensity. In particular, they investigated potential variation in vertical wind shear over the tropical Atlantic and its ties to the Pacific Walker circulation. That vast loop of winds influences climate across much of the globe and varies in concert with El Nino and La Nina oscillations. In the new work, the models mostly predict a slowing of the Pacific Walker circulation, leading to greater wind shear throughout much of the tropical Atlantic.

"The impact on hurricane activity of the projected shear change could be as large -- and in the opposite sense -- as that of the warming oceans," Vecchi says. In other regions, such as the western tropical Pacific, the study finds that global warming renders the environment more favorable for hurricanes.

Vecchi and Soden report their findings today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The simulations incorporated a mid-range emissions scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment -- the latest of those assessments. According to the emissions scenario, the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide stabilizes at 720 parts per million by the year 2100. The wind-shear study examines two 20-year periods during this century: 2001-2020 and 2081-2100.

Vecchi notes that projections of increased wind shear found in the study are confined to the tropical Atlantic and East Pacific.

Moreover, factors besides global warming also contribute to change in Atlantic wind shear. The new simulations, Vecchi adds, provide "one piece of the puzzle" of how increased wind shear may affect hurricane activity.

For animations and still images depicting wind shear's impact on a hurricane, please visit the NOAA web site at: http://gfdl.noaa.gov/~gav/ipcc_viz.html

Peter Weiss | American Geophysical Union
Further information:
http://www.agu.org
http://gfdl.noaa.gov/~gav/ipcc_viz.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>